The Power of Positive Feedback

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12 September 2019

by Cherrie Wheeler, Presto's National Delivery Manager

Cherrie Wheeler, mother of three biological kids, and several other “adopted” ones, she is the kind of person who runs a race and gets dinner on the way back home on her day off. She also excels at her full-time role as National Delivery Manager at Presto Resourcing, a company part of the Optimation Group. She is the definition of the word busy, and her open-door policy goes beyond her home values, as in the corporate world she always finds time to offer a positive word to those around her. Her 15+ years of experience in IT talent management is now applied at Optimation Group, a diverse group of tech companies with 200+ people from different ethnicities and beliefs, which she fits quite well. Cherrie prides herself in helping hundreds of people in their career growth path and believes positive feedback has helped her achieve that.

We all know or will encounter some managers that have a block against positive feedback. They probably think “This is not for me” or “I don’t feel like my team earned a positive affirmation for just doing their job”. There are also some people who find it difficult to receive a compliment and that also matters.

Bottom line: feedback, whether negative or positive, giving or receiving, is imperative to growth. For some reason, positive feedback is, at times, hard to give, however just think how powerful it can be to give praise?

It has the power of retaining talent

We all crave feedback. Good managers know who the star performers in a team are. Guess what? They probably know their value too. When all they hear from you is "constructive" (sometimes can be perceived as negative feedback), people tend to feel unappreciated, which can lead to a performance drop or stagnation – or, in an even worse case scenario, they might leave you! It can be hard to be seen as an ally without building high morale, trust and loyalty, positive feedback helps you in doing that.

Rebecca Aced-Molina, a certified coach and leadership coach has said:

"Giving and receiving feedback is one of the most essential skills for creating trust and meaningful relationships at work, but it's one of the hardest things we as human beings have to tackle."


it is good for business

A good leader knows how to recognise and compliment well their team and peers. Keep honest, but be graceful and modest. If feedback is not a frequent occurrence in your workplace, start with the positives – it’s a sign that you have their backs, which makes people feel confident to do a better job.

If giving positive feedback is not natural to you, here are some how-tos in using this powerful tool:

Stay engaged  Keep lines of communication open, add some regular and consistent 1:1s. You can only give feedback of what you know, so starting the 1:1 by evaluating together the completed tasks might be a good idea. This is an opportunity to tell them they are doing a good job and if someone exceeds your expectations (even in a small way) tell them.

  •         Keep it clean

Don’t think you have to add a negative or "constructive" feedback to balance it out a positive feedback. Negative feedback should be given without sugar-coating, and the opposite is also true. To give positive feedback, it has to be clear of any communication breakdown. No one wants to hear “that’s great, but…” Avoid buts.

  •         Spin the wheel

Encourage your people to give positive feedback to each other and watch the magic happen. You can suggest that directly or start giving praise publicly in team meetings, for example. You can't receive if you don't give.

  •         Make it real

Be specific, use your own words and don't forget about your body language. Be present, sit up straight and make eye contact.

You got this!


This article was published on our quarterly issue, "Market Insights". Read the full newsletter here, issue 03 - October 2019, Pause, Engage.